Chautauqua County is ready to bring some new life to its business community.
Tuesday, the County of Chautauqua Industrial Development Agency board of directors authorized an AL Tech Loan for Nulife Glass NY Inc.
Nulife Glass, a recycling specialist based in Manchester, England, will be opening its first U.S. facility in Chautauqua County. The company will invest $3.7 million to renovate a 50,000 square foot manufacturing plant in the town of Sheridan, where it plans to create 25 new jobs.
Nulife Glass is expected to move in to the abandoned Reflective Glass Products, Inc. building on Middle Road in the town of Sheridan within the next few months. The company is currently in “Phase I” of its efforts to renovate the building, which involves cleaning, installing water and electricity and fixing up doors.
Photo by Greg Fox
Nulife's recycling innovation has solved a growing problem in the electronics industry. Cathode ray tubes, or CRTs, are glass components found in televisions and computers. The change to flat-panel technologies using CRTs has created a problem when these products no longer work or are not wanted by owners. This problem is being called a "glass tsunami" as flat-screen products accumulate as waste material. The flat-panel technology using CRTs is also complicated because it contains lead oxides.
The loan approved by the board was in the amount of $275,000. According to Lawrence Taylor, CCIDA project manager, the loan will include six months' interest only, followed by a three-year term for machine equipment for Nulife to put in a crushing line.
Michael Fermier, facilities manager for Nulife, told board members the company is looking to follow some very specific requirements passed down from New York state.
"They put on some very specific requirements for the material we are bringing onsite," Fermier said. "Once the process is up and running, a one- or two-year plan, we're going to be removing the lead from the glass. CRT tubes are what your television sets were essentially for 70 or 80 years, as well as your computer screens. With EPA regulations that are out there, they can't be landfilled."
Fermier said the company is looking for a kick-start in order to install the proper machinery and take care of all government regulations.
Nulife currently has a location in Dunkirk, which Fermier said is being used only as a warehouse. Material is being stored in Dunkirk in anticipation of having the correct machinery operating in Sheridan as soon as possible. Once the lead and the glass are separated, Fermier said the glass will primarily be used in concrete blocks, while the lead will be sold to whoever needs pure lead.
The board unanimously passed the resolution.